In addition to Occupational Therapy (OT) and a home sensory diet, many other interventions exist to treat those with Sensory Processing Disorder, including auditory stimulation therapys, hippotherapy (using horses), nutritional therapy (involving elimination of certain foods and/or supplementation of enzymes, etc.), osteopathic manipulation (cranio sacral chiropractic adjustments) and integrated therapy approaches using a variety of techiniques simultaneous or in parallel. For more details on these intervention options, check out the Sensory Nation website at http://www.sensorynation.com/interventions.html.
Our OT is amazing and using a variety of these interventions in Josiah's therapy.
(1) Auditory Stimulation -- she maintains a library of modulated music CDs to play during therapy sessions and to check out for a home-based listening therapy program. We invested in expensive specialized headphones for Josiah's listening therapy and have used a few different CDs to provide added auditory stimulation to Josiah's home sensory diet. We'd probably have more success with this if we were more consistent in using it :( This is a good reminder to get back into the swing of his "special music" on a regular basis (15+ minutes, twice a day as recommended).
(2) Hippotherapy -- her OT office is actually on her home property where she keeps her small herd of horses, some of whom are working therapy horses. On dozens of occasions, Josiah has gotten to ride a horse as part of his therapy. Not only does it provide good vestibular and proprioceptive input, it also provides lessons in social skills (gentle touches on the horse, greeting them, etc.) Many times, we've even combined auditory stimulation and hippotherapy by putting headphones on Josiah while he rides (our OT has a modified helmet that has space cut out for the specialized headphones for just this purpose!).
(3) Nutritional Therapy -- Josiah has been allergic to dairy and soy since birth (I even had to cut all traces of dairy from my own diet while I was nursing him), so it wasn't a huge stretch to go on the GFCF (gluten-free caesine-free) diet that is often recommended for autism-spectrum and sensory processing disorders. So about a year and a half ago, I transitioned Josiah off of gluten. After a couple months, I wasn't sure whether it was making much of a difference, so I challenged it by offering him gluten again for a few days. On the first day of the challenge I didn't notice much change, so I thought we'd just go back to giving him gluten, but by the third day of the challenge, he was driving us all CRAZY! Even without the caesine, the gluten-protein acts as a neurotoxin in Josiah's system, making his sensory issues even more extreme -- the improvement was so gradual when we first eliminated gluten that we weren't sure it was helping, but the challenge proved that it really was making a difference, so nearly two years later, Josiah is still GFCFSF (gluten, caesine, and soy free) and feeding him can be a challenge, especially outside the house (more on that in a future post).
(4) Osteopathic manipulations -- We've tried this through our family chiropractor, and sometimes it seems to have good results. Come to think of it, we haven't taken Josiah to get adjusted since we had Malachi; perhaps a few adjustments would help reduce some of the "regression" we've seen since Malachi joined the family. Note to self: call the chiropractor :)